27 January 2023
WA Primary Health Alliance acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Elders of this country and recognises the significant importance of their cultural heritage, values and beliefs and how these contribute to the positive health and wellbeing of the whole community.
Throughout this newsletter, the term 'Aboriginal' is used to refer to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, unless stated otherwise.
The pace and momentum of Primary Sense installations continue to build, with over 70 per cent of WA general practices that share data with WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) having submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) to switch to the easy-to-use data tool.
With one-click reporting, Primary Sense makes it quick and easy for practices to share de-identified data and meet the Practice Incentives Program Quality Improvement (PIP QI) requirements. For further information, refer to the Primary Sense and Data Sharing fact sheet.
As WAPHA’s data tool of choice, Primary Sense is fully subsidised for WA practices that share their de-identified, full population health data set. The Pen CS CAT Plus suite will no longer be subsidised and practices must purchase a licence to continue using it after 30 June 2023.
To join the growing number of practices that are switching to Primary Sense, complete and submit the online Expression of Interest (EOI) form. After your practice’s EOI has been submitted, you will receive further communication from WAPHA’s Primary Sense team with the next steps for completing the installation of the Primary Sense data tool.
To find out more about Primary Sense, visit the Primary Sense Tool Kit, email the Practice Assist team via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478).
After the wrap up of the holiday season, it is common people reflect on their new year’s resolutions. Health resolutions, such as reducing alcohol or increasing physical activity are common. Empowering patients to stick to small, realistic goals, will help to shape success for patients in 2023.
Here are three practical steps to encourage your patient through their new year’s resolutions.
Studies have shown that approach-centered goals are more successful than avoidance goals. Encourage your patient to make approach-oriented goals, that focus on a positive desired outcome. Replace “I want to drink less” with “I will decrease my drinking in the month of February and replace my drinks with mocktails for one month”.
SMART goals are defined as being ‘specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time sensitive.’ Encourage your patients to make goals that are specific and precise, to ensure that the outcome is realistic.
Patients may often dive into setting New Year’s Resolutions without proper mental or physical preparation. By supporting patients to prepare, you will empower them to stick to their goals. Two ways to prepare may be:
Want to know current available alcohol & other drug training opportunities, services, and resources for GPs? Please view the extensive list below.
HealthPathways WA have developed a suite of Alcohol and Other Drugs pathways that contain region specific information on patient assessment, management, and referral pathways to assist clinicians in navigating patients through the complex primary, community, and acute health care system in Western Australia. These clinical pathways include:
To gain access, you can request a login via the HealthPathways WA Project Site and complete the ‘Request a login’ form, or email the team at email@example.com. You can use the search bar, located at the top of the webpage, or the left-hand navigation panel to search for information. To provide feedback email the HealthPathways team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the “Send Feedback” button at the bottom of each page on the site.
The deadline for enquires and tender submissions to participate in the Australian Government's new GP-led Respiratory Clinic Panel (GPRCP) initiative has been extended. Tenders are open to all accredited general practices.
The GPRCP initiative will be implemented from March 2023 to ensure sufficient surge capacity is in place to respond to subsequent COVID-19 waves or any other future respiratory health emergencies.
Under this new panel arrangement, up to 150 existing, accredited primary care practices nationally, which may include former GP Respiratory Clinics, if they meet the standard criteria to participate, would be held in reserve to be activated as needed in response to the emergence of another COVID-19 wave or other major heath respiratory emergency.
During periods of activation, GPRCP participants will be provided access to a new MBS Item (bulk-billed) for each respiratory consultation. Upon activation, they will also be eligible to claim a Practice Incentive Payment (PIP) equivalent to their PIP QI payment per 3-month period.
Participating clinics will be able to provide their usual services through standard MBS Items while activated, they will not be constrained to only providing services under the GPRCP.
In 2022, the Department of Health and Aged Care Vulnerable Populations program identified that culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities were having difficulty accessing COVID-19 information and vaccinations. To assist with increasing access, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) engaged with general practices in areas with lower vaccination rates to offer funding for activities.
WAPHA COVID-19 Support Portfolio Coordinator, Ashley-Jane Dow, explained that Nova Medical Centre in Stirling was one of the first practices to get involved and support their CALD patients.
“Nova Medical Centre in Stirling provided extra COVID-19 vaccination clinics initially targeting their Italian, Macedonian, Punjabi and Mandarin patient population for 10 weeks from 25 April 2022. When the Department of Health and Aged Care approved additional booster doses, the practice took the opportunity to continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines to their CALD patients,” Ms Dow said.
At the same time, Nova Medical Centre in Manning came on board as well, reaching out to a range of vulnerable populations including CALD, immigrants, students, older persons and First Nations people. The practice initially provided one extra COVID-19 clinic per week and later expanded to two extra clinics per week due to increasing vaccine demand.
Nova Medical Centre in Stirling ran its extra COVID-19 vaccination activities for a total of 30 weeks and Nova Medical Centre in Manning ran its for 20 weeks. Both practices vaccinated over 1000 people, many of whom may not have otherwise had the opportunity to be vaccinated.
“In addition to the Nova Medical Centres, many other general practices contributed to the Vulnerable Populations program, identifying and engaging with numerous at-risk individuals. Their trusted relationships and willingness to assist have increased access to COVID-19 information and vaccinations for more vulnerable people,” Ms Dow said.
If you would like further information about how WAPHA can assist your practice with supporting vulnerable and CALD patients, email Practice Assist via email@example.com or call 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478).
GSK has advised that some copies of their dosing and administration wheel (Rotarix Wheel) contains errors.
All providers are advised to stop using the Rotarix Wheel and discard any copies the practice may have.
There is no issue with Rotarix vaccine itself, or the recommended schedule for administration as per the NIP or Handbook, just the Rotarix Wheel printed resource.
New GSK resources are being produced and will be distributed soon.
More information here
SAFEVAC is the Australian database for reporting of Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) and associated clinical visits.
The Western Australian Vaccine Safety Surveillance (WAVSS) system is the reporting service in WA for any significant adverse events following immunisations (AEFI). It is now part of the national reporting hub called SAFEVAC.
WAVSS provides expert immunisation safety advice to reporters and healthcare workers, and can provide clinical services for children and adults who have experienced an AEFI.
To learn more or report an adverse event following a vaccination click here
Congratulations to Dr Andrew Leech and team for the opening of their new practice in Murdoch, The Garden Family Medical Clinic. We recently had the pleasure of visiting the practice and meeting the team.
Upon entering the practice, you are welcomed by a calming and innovative design. With an outdoor courtyard garden positioned at the heart of practice, this offers a place for patients to sit and young children to explore. All practicing rooms surround the garden providing a comfortable setting for providing care.
The practice has an inspiring team-based approach, with a vision to transform healthcare to improve lives through progressive and innovative care. Focusing on education and digital enhancements to reduce the administrative burden often experienced in general practice and improving systems.
The multi-disciplinary team includes doctors, nurses, psychologists, Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) nurses, healthcare assistants, diabetes educator and pathologist.
An allied health centre is positioned directly across from the practice, offering accessible and convenient care options for their patients including physiotherapy, exercise physiologists and podiatrists.
The Quintuple Aim of high performing health care was evident in this new practice – patient satisfaction, population health outcomes, sustainability, workers satisfaction and health equity. We look forward to strengthening our relationship, watching the practice grow and supporting you in what looks to be an exciting future and step for primary care.
Dr Andrew Leech - General Practitioner and Director of the Garden Family Medical Clinic (Murdoch)
Beyond the C is a national partnership program with General Practice, to find people who may be living with hepatitis C, and to engage and connect them with care.
Beyond the C launched in early December. You are welcome to click here to watch the recording. At approx. 17mins into the video, you’ll see an excellent presentation from Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service, which participated in the pilot program.
Registering Interest. Practices can submit an EOI to participate in the program via www.beyondthec.com.au. The EOI does not commit practices to register for Beyond the C. Following the submission of the online EOI a project team member at ASHM will be in contact to discuss the next steps and answer any questions. Following registration, this includes:
As you may be aware, an exemption to subsection 19(2) of the Health Insurance Act 1973 was announced as part of the March 2022-23 Budget.
Currently, subsection 19(2) prohibits the payment of Medicare benefits where other government funding is provided for that service. This means that GPs cannot bill Medicare for a service at the same time they are also receiving payment from headspace, which could be in the form of a salary, wage, contract or other payment arrangement.
This initiative has been designed to provide headspace services the opportunity to enhance GP remuneration using headspace grants or other funding streams to supplement eligible MBS billings. This may ease some of the challenges in attracting and retaining GPs by offering GPs access to guaranteed income in contracted arrangements including leave, superannuation, and salary packaging where GPs are salaried under this initiative.
The exemption will permit GPs at eligible headspace services, who currently receive salaries or other payments from Lead Agencies, to also bill against 28 eligible MBS items.
Eligible headspace services are those located within Modified Monash (MM) regions MM2-MM7. Headspace services located in MM1 regions will be ineligible for this exemption.
The exemption will take effect from 1 February 2023.
DVA has updated its Medicinal Cannabis Framework which will streamline access to funded medicinal cannabis for eligible DVA clients.
Under the updated Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Medicinal Cannabis Framework (the Framework), general practitioners (GPs) can now seek approval of funding for medicinal cannabis without the need for a non-GP specialist’s assessment in many circumstances. Applications may be made over the phone by calling the Veterans' Affairs Pharmaceutical Advisory Centre on 1800 552 580
Learn more here
The Practice Assist website is home to resources developed to support general practice covering a range of topics including Aboriginal Health, Accreditation, Business Management and more.
Click through to view our resources!
The biggest changes in general practice in decades are about to occur. This webinar will look at ways practices can act now to be better prepared and maybe even put themselves ahead of the game.
Join us for this critical discussion and participate in a live Q&A, hosted by Dr Norman Swan, with Drs Steve Hambleton and Walid Jammal, two highly committed GPs, who have helped forge a pathway to reform.
Dr Steve Hambleton
Dr Hambleton is a Queensland GP and former federal president of the Australian Medical Association. He has worked in the same general practice for 33 years and is the Chief Clinical Advisor to the Australian Digital Health Agency.
Dr Walid Jammal
Dr Jammal has been a GP in Sydney for 29 years and has a keen interest in quality and safety in health care, health policy and health reform, as well as models of care in general practice including the Patient Centred Medical Home framework.
CPD Activity points are available.
View the flyer here
Following the recent launch of the ground breaking Transgender Health and Gender Diversity HealthPathway, WA Primary Health Alliance’s HealthPathways WA in collaboration with the Child and Adolescent Health Service, East Metropolitan Health Service and TransFolk of WA are pleased to present a three part webinar series on trans, gender diverse and non-binary (TGDNB) health. The sessions can be attended individually or as a series.
The Transgender Health and Gender Diversity pathway can be accessed here. For logon details for HealthPathways complete the ‘Request a login’ form here.
This first session will provide attendees with:
Find out more and register here
This second session will include:
Returning in the new year, we kick off 2023 with continued sessions of the Alcohol & Other Drug Network- A Project ECHO Initiative. WAPHA, along with our AOD subject matter experts, invite GPs and other allied health professionals across WA to virtually join in the sessions listed below. Attendance to previous sessions is not a requirement.
Register here for the Alcohol & Other Drug Network - A Project ECHO Initiative
For more information, please contact Project ECHO Officer Isobel Storey at Isobel.firstname.lastname@example.org